Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

A Kelowna resident is running an ultramarathon this fall to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing.

Melissa Gosse said 2020 has been quite a trying year. It started off when the pandemic changed her plans to participate in ultramarathon races, which would’ve been her seventh year doing it.

“With COVID-19 hitting, a lot of my races were cancelled or deferred… and that in itself is definitely hard when that’s something you look forward to so much and you get so much from that sport,” she said.

“Of course, the unpredictability of the times right now is also tiring and hard. On top of that, I was also part of a tragic car accident a few months ago and I lost a friend to suicide this year as well. It’s been a lot.”

Mental health affects so many areas of people’s lives and deserves more attention, which is why she decided to run 100 kilometres from Vernon to Penticton to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

The run doesn’t have a specific date yet, but Gosse has said she’s aiming for either the last weekend in October or the first one in November.

She said she will have some friends and family who will help her on the day of the run, with some running with her and others waiting at checkpoints to cheer her on. She’s also received messages from the community offering to run the ultramarathon with her.

In all, she said she’s grateful and excited about the run. Currently, she’s been able to raise $1,070 so far of her $1,500 goal.

“The stigma that it’s embarrassing to talk about (mental health) has to go away because sometimes, it does end in tragedy. A lot of this is preventable.”

“For us to understand more about mental health issues, we need more people to open up about it. And I get it, it’s hard and requires vulnerability and courage, but the more people do it the more courageous we’ll feel. There is power in numbers,” she said.

Gosse said she hasn’t done a 100-kilometre course in a while, so her campaign for CMHA is also her way of challenging herself.

“This is new territory for me, so the support from everyone has been an amazing fuel for me. The support has been giving me inspiration and this has been one of the best things I’ve gotten to train for in my ultramarathon career.”

READ: Kelowna Liberal MLAs respond to ‘opportunistic’ snap election call

READ: Kelowna-Mission Liberal candidate announced


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During her PhD, Dr. Sylvie Harder spent several field seasons at an international research station in the Swedish Arctic, researching the impacts of climate change on permafrost environments. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm raised climate scientist brings expertise to West Coast Environmental Law

Sylvie Harder looks forward to helping B.C. communities develop climate change solutions

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman William Lavigne (left) tries to rub out Vernon Vipers forward Max Bulawka in B.C. Hockey League Okanagan Cup action. Vernon completed a home-and-home sweep of the Gorillas with a 4-3 overtime win Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Shaw Centre. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers sweep Salmon Arm

Snakes win 5-2 at home Friday, 4-3 in overtime Saturday at the Shaw Centre

A winning Lotto 649 Guaranteed Winning Prize ticket worth $1 million in the Saturday, Oct. 17 draw was purchased in the Shuswap. (File photo)
Million-dollar lotto ticket bought in Shuswap

Ticket holds winning number in Lotto 649 Guaranteed Winning Match game from Saturday, Oct. 17

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. suburbs could see increased demand for rental units as people work from home

Vancouver’s average monthly rent is the highest out of 35 cities across Canada

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Abandoned Kelowna heritage building fire deemed suspicious

The building sustained major fire damage to the exterior and roof area

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the temporary shelter operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. A fire was discovered in the building’s attic, forcing the evacuation of temporary residents and staff. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Reported electrical fire evacuates Okanagan temporary shelter

No visible smoke or flame but Vernon firefighters discover small blaze in former warehouse’s attic

Most Read